We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Ed. comment: Interesting. It is an antique view of the world, indeed. I believe Wilson wrote that blog post essay in the 1880s. As we always ask here, 1. What about freedom? and, 2. Where's the money and wealth gonna come from? I am with CS Lewis, who preferred that people aspire to wealth than to power if they must aspire to worldly goals. Wealth is harmless, and often beneficial. Power is scarey.
...it is my argument that American liberalism is a totalitarian political religion, but not necessarily an Orwellian one. It is nice, not brutal. Nannying, not bullying. But it is definitely totalitarian–or ‘holistic,’ if you prefer–in that liberalism today sees no realm of human life that is beyond political significance, from what you eat to what you smoke to what you say. Sex is political. Food is political. Sports, entertainment, your inner motives and outer appearance, all have political salience for liberal fascists.
If politicians had more common sense than my plumber or Tom Jefferson, it might almost be a debatable argument. One which Aristotle settled long ago, however.
The lesson today was about the Good Samaritan. The lawyer correctly identifies his duty as to love his neighbor as himself, then asks, "Who is my neighbor?" The answer is the parable about the priest, the Levite, and the lowly man from Samaria who pass a stranger who's been beaten and left for dead on the roadside. Only the Samaritan stops and helps.
The story always makes me uncomfortable, because it's easy for me to understand why it's my duty to help someone struck by tragedy right in front of me, but harder for me to see why it's a good idea to support someone who, from my point of view, simply won't work. I realize that "won't work" vs. "can't work" can be a tricky distinction, but that doesn't mean it's always a tricky distinction. Sometimes it's as plain as the nose on your face.
American liberalism, as practiced now, is not nice. It is bullying, if less obviously violent than were Brownshirts in their awful day.
The thing is, the "progressives" rarely want to forbid you directly because you'll see that it's an attack on your liberty. So they attack a step or several back in the chain. You should not drive a large vehicle, so they will set fuel standards that make it impossible to sell you one. You should not really drive at all, so gas prices get pushed up. You should eat less meat, so we will regulate its production to make it hard to get. You should eat less McDonald's, so we'll zone McDonald's out. Few direct attacks on your liberty, but many behind the bush.